I wanted to start this list of some common problems people have when using cell phone spy/monitoring software. I have experienced a couple of problems myself but I get quite a few emails asking basically the same group of questions. Hopefully this guide will help answer some frequently asked questions and I’ll add to it as new ones crop up.
There are really only two main problems with spy software: the software itself and the user! You probably won’t be surprised to hear that in my experience the most common problems stem from the user – installation and set-up errors being the top ones.
Appreciate the Technology!
On the software side you can have problems. Some of the spy software programs on offer are just not fit for sale – they are little more than scams, so you need to be careful what you buy in the first place. Even with the best spy software apps you can still have issues from time to time – in fact it amazes me that there are not more! Part of the problem is our high expectations and being blinded to what level of technology is at work.
We have become so used to high technology – just working! When something has a glitch we are almost enraged – we take so much for granted. Think about what is actually happening with spy software programs.
Some common complaints I have read can make me laugh – “its not recording all my calls, it missed one” or “GPS tracking was down for an hour today – what is going on?” – think for a minute what is going on.
You have installed a software application, on to one of thousands of different cell phones running hundreds of different operating systems. This software monitors the phone activity – on a cell phone being used in many different countries around the world, across many service providers, via satellites in space, with good reception and bad, in all weather conditions. Then this information is sent via the same route – to an online website where you can connect (via the same route) and see all the reports. And you wonder why something just might go wrong from time to time?
I grew up in a home where there was no telephone until I was fifteen! I remember my first cell phone, the size of a Betamax video cassette (Google it – they where big!). You sometimes had to drive for miles to get a fleeting reception!
I remember the first dial-up internet, way before Google was even thought of – forget about looking at videos! The first cordless telephone, the first CD then the DVD, digital cameras with megapixels! I’m only 43 years old and most of this happened in the last 20 years.
Do you see what I’m getting at here? We now take all this technology for granted, not considering the many different processes taking place and the opportunity for something in the chain to go wrong now and again. I’m still amazed by a cell phone, never mind the spy software!
Installation and Set-up Problems
Definitely, the most common problems people are having but usually easy to fix. Each of the programs are installed and configured in similar, yet slightly different ways. I have written a guide about Installing Spy Software – looking at this in more detail but the main thing is that you must follow the instructions EXACTLY. It’s not rocket science but so many people seem to struggle with the installation process.
Taking your time is the best advice I can give to someone installing this type of software for the first time. For first time users choosing a company with good support is important – they will be well used to guiding you through the process.
Problems Using Spy Phone Software
Make sure you know what features your product actually supports for your type of cell phone. So many people complain about features not working that are not actually included in the software package they have paid for.
There are a few things which aren’t covered by most programs:
- You can only get the visited URL logs from the phones default browser – so if the target uses a different browser, you can’t view the details.
- Similarly with emails – they only report the default email use, although some can report on Gmail also.
- Viewing details sent or received in web messenger services like WhatsApp or Facebook. Again some software apps do support some of these – check out my article about this at the link above.
Can’t Listen to Recorded Calls or View Videos
Another common one which is easy to fix. Recordings and video are downloaded in 3GP format and will not play in Windows Media Player unless you download the 3GP codec. Apple QuickTime can play recordings and video without any extra downloads. I use VLC Media player and it works well. Remember that the recordings have to be uploaded to the software site fully, before you can download and listen to them. Quite often problems occur during the transfer of these files.
Report Logs Have Stopped Coming In
I sometimes get this question, when reporting suddenly stops. There can be many reasons behind this – the target phone could be switched off or Roaming for a period of time or out of internet connection range. Sometimes there is just no activity to report!
If the user has updated the Operating System or removed a Jailbreak this can also cause the spy software to stop working.
The Software Site is Down
Another common question “is the XX site down?” In my experience all of the sites will go “down” for periods of time. Here is the thing, nearly all websites suffer some downtime but you may not notice unless you are a very frequent visitor. When you take out a spy package you are likely to be logging on several times per day and you are more likely to notice when they are down. Add to this the fact that these are very dynamic websites – constantly updating data, large numbers of people logging on and off simultaneously – they are not just showing standard web pages like most information type websites.
Obviously, any downtime can be frustrating but expect it to happen at some point. The good news is that over the last couple of years things have improved. The good companies are continuing to improve their services resulting in less frequent and shorter down periods. In most cases your data will continue to be gathered, so you can still see the phone activity when normal service is resumed.
I have found that just before an update or new feature is released you may find the sites interrupted quite frequently over a few days. Normally downtime will only last for an hour or two and you may not even notice.
Remember the Basic Requirements
You would be amazed at the number of people who fail to grasp the very basic needs of this software.
- The target phone must have an internet connection.
- GPS must be enabled – for the GPS tracking to work
- Any iPhone must be Jailbroken
- The software download is specific to the phone model AND Operating System
My Cell Phone is Not Compatible
More often the Operating System is not compatible. When the latest OS updates come out it takes a while for the spy software programs to catch up with a new version. Don’t update the OS until you know your program supports the new version – but you can always roll back the OS to an earlier version. If all else fails – buy a cheap, compatible phone and install your spy software.
Spy Software Fact – Something Will go Wrong, Sometime
Just because the software stops reporting for an hour, or misses a few calls or GPS locations – does not mean you have a major problem. These operational problems are relatively rare, but accept that they will occur sometimes.
Things have certainly improved with the best software apps in the last few years but keep your expectations to a reasonable level. These aren’t the real problems; these are glitches beyond our control. If you come across a problem contact support and have some patience. This software is incredibly powerful and works very well in most cases but be reasonable. Concentrate on the issues you can fix and appreciate the level of technology involved.
I will come back to this article and add any new issues I come across. Let me know if you have any problems in the comments below. Thanks for reading!